Cult Cabs dominate Wally’s sale

Californian wines were the focus of buyers’ attention at Wally’s and Crush auction in New York last week with Harlan and Screaming Eagle achieving huge premiums on their estimates and setting new records.

wallys wine auctionThe sale made US$2.6 million in total with a 94.4% sell-through rate. One section of the auction entitled “A Cult Collection”, featuring Californian wines “from Araujo Estate to Verité”.

Spanning lots 302-473, Harlan and Screaming Eagle were particularly well-represented. The 24 lots of Harlan made $127,440 – twice its estimate – while the 26 lots of Screaming Eagle realised $384,720.

Several new records for these wines at auction were also set, a double magnum of 2007 Harlan made $10,200 and a magnum of 1992 Screaming Eagle achieved $22,800.

Greater still, double magnums of 1992, 1993 and 1994 Harlan presented in a leather case made $45,600 and a similar offering of double magnums of Screaming Eagle’s first three vintages (’92, ’93 and ’94) made $174,000.

However, these two estates were not alone in making far more than their original high estimates; Opus One, Ridge, Sine Qua Non, Marcassin and Joseph Phelps all saw strong bidding for their 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2002 vintages.

Shafer, Scarecrow, Caymus, Dalle Valle, Dominus, Heitz, Silver Oak, Stag’s Leap, Bond, Bryant and Colgin were all available too.

Away from California, Champagne was also a key part of the wider sale and bottles of 1989 Salon, 1978 Philipponnat Clos de Goisses,  and cases of Jacques Selosses’ Ambonnay Le Bout du Clos; Les Mesnil sur Oger Les Carelles and 1982 Comtes de Champagne made between $1,020 (for the Clos de Goisses) and $3,840 (for Les Carelles).

A 10 bottle case of 1982 Dom Pérignon also made $4,560.

Meanwhile, wines from all the greatest fine wine regions jostled for attention with Burgundies from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Roumier. Rousseau, d’Angerville, Hudelot-Noellat, Mugnier and Dujac offered alongside Ornellaia, Tignanello, Gaja, Lafite, Mouton Rothschild, Palmer, Pavie, Pétrus, Vega Sicilia, Penfolds Grange, Donnhoff, Oremus Tokaji and more.

Finally, rare spirits and in particular bourbon were in demand with two bottles of Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 20 Years Old Kentucky Bourbon achieving $2,880 and two bottles of the 23-year-old $6,600.

A 50-year-old Macallan in a Lalique decanter realised $40,800.

Wally’s Auctions’ senior advisor and principal auctioneer, Ursula Hermacinski, commented: “I have experienced the notion of ‘cult’ collectability change from the scramble of label recognition to the appreciation of quality. Bill Harlan was right all along when he talked about California first growths. The results from this sale confirm that.”

Before the auction, Michael Jessen, CEO at Wally’s Auctions had told the drinks business that the sale would be a “bellwether” for Californian cult wines at auction after mounting interest in the category.

Wally’s next auction, the second part of the Roy Welland Collection will take place in LA on 21 and 22 November.

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